Behind the Scene and other Major Plot Points
Nice, competent movie
Although it was cliched at times, it carried itself well enough, particularly with the help of the very nice air to air combat sequences.
There were some historical facts…downed pilots were not supposed to be engaged, the air planes looked authentic, and pilots did use side arms during engagements, although a shot through the eye is far fetched.
Some things were off…there were way more midflight collisions, and some of the rifles used seemed to be more for WW2, but overall, a well made film.
the flag on Rawlings’ wing
What does the flag represent?
The flag atached to his wing marks him as the squadron leader, he took over the position after Cassidy was killed, at that time there was no radio communication between planes so the other pilots needed to know which plane to watch for hand signals
The triplane fighter flown by the German pilots is the Fokker DR 1 designed by Dutch aviation pioneer Anthony Fokker. Due to the fact that Manfred Von Richthofen (the Red Barron) and a few other high scoring German aces developed an almost cult-like devotion to the plane, it has always enjoyed a reputation out of all proportion to its actual merits or contribution to the German war effort. In truth only 320 were produced and they were only in front line service from late 1917 to mid 1918. The plane’s chief merits were a rapid rate of climb and the ability to make lightning fast turns to the right due to the torque effect of its rotary engine. Highly experienced pilots were able to use this to grate advantage in combat but these same characteristics were very dangerous to inexperienced aviators and there were numerous accidents. On the down side the design was plagued with structural problems, chiefly the tendency of the ailerons to separate from the upper wing or the total structural failure of the upper wing during high G maneuvers. These problems were initially attributed to poor quality control at the Fokker plant and that was certainly a factor, but post war testing also revealed that the plane had serious design flaws that caused a dangerously high G loading on the upper wing during air combat maneuvering. Ironically, Fokker’s follow on design, the biplane Fokker D7 fighter is widely regarded as the best fighter design of the war and yet it receives considerably less attention than his problematic triplane.
thenault is a great character jean reno is great in this movie.
I loved when he awarded Rawlings the Croix De Guerre and he gave him a hug after saying “Don’t ever do that again.” 🙂
One of the best and most informative audio commentaries ever!!!
Wow, it’s amazing how many things in this movie you would think are made up actually happened in real life. Watch it with the commentary track on. It will blow your mind.
What about how they mention things that were real in the film, such as the bottle of death, and how they mention that there were no parachutes issued back then. Also how planes were such a new concept that some just blew up without any explanation. I found it very informative. Yes I guess they could have mentioned him a bit more, but I found the commentary very informative from a history standpoint.
Was she based on a real person? The text at the end of the film suggested so. If so, I wonder, is her identity and her fate known?
I guess she was a real person but not much was known about her. Rawlings himself couldn’t find her so her fate seems to be unknown either.
Why using american volunteers?
Something i dont understand is why the french airforce uses american volunteers for this air unit. They had no air skills whatsoever that merits them to be pilots.
Is not that they are pilots already and have some experience in the air.Some of them are even pretty awful.
Why just dont use french men? Makes no sense.
Well, If your fighting a war, taking huge casualties and some foreigners turn up and actually WANT to fight for you, are you going to say no to them?
I wont use them as a fighter pilots but put them in the infantry. Planes are to expensive to put anyone there be them nationals or foreigners.
You will want the best men for this rare and sofisticated, in 1914, machine.
In the early years of the war, France and Britain sought ways to bring America into the war and Germany ways to keep America out. The reason the Lafayette Escadrille was formed was to create publicity and help persuade America to abandon its neutrality and join the fight. The unit created enough publicity that another American unit, the Lafayette Flying Corp, was also formed.
Why didn’t the German ace shoot him down?
I missed this part. Why did he let Franco live?
But it could also be that he realized that Rawling’s gun was either jammed or he was out of ammunition. In his mind, Franco was defenseless, and to shoot him down at that point wouldn’t have been much different than what happened to the downed airman. The fight was over…chivalry and all that.
RT/Meta Critic Review
Each air battle has been scripted as a set piece that not only shows off the capabilities of the pilots and their machines, but also advances the plot. Bring your Dramamine! (click here to see)